Many Australians suffer from a dry mouth, which can cause problems with oral hygiene and tooth decay. Chewing sugar-free gum can help produce more saliva to overcome this problem and has other benefits, such as dealing with stress, heartburn (fruit flavoured only) and helping people trying to quit smoking. Too much of it can have a laxative effect so chew it in moderation."
Dr Christine Bennett
Chair, Medical Advisory Panel, Bupa Australia.
About one in four Australians has dry mouth syndrome, which means not having enough saliva in the mouth. A dry mouth is a symptom of an underlying problem, rather than a disease itself.
Various factors can cause a persistently dry mouth, including prescription medications, medical treatments and certain auto-immune diseases such as Sjogren's syndrome.
Mouth dryness affects people to different degrees and in different ways. But common symptoms of dry mouth syndrome include:
Dry mouth may be connected with other symptoms, such as dry and itchy eyes, dry skin, rashes, and joint stiffness and pain. These symptoms are suggestive of Sjogren's syndrome. If you have some of these symptoms in addition to any of the above dry mouth symptoms, it's a good idea to consult your GP.
Chewing gum can:
Australian Dental Association
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Last published: 30 October 2011
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